18 But these people set an ambush for themselves;
they are trying to get themselves killed.
19 Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money;
it robs them of life.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word greed as follows:
“a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed”
When our focus is on money it only means that everything else loses focus and is lost in the picture. This means that the object of our vision is money and nothing else.
Luke 16: 13 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Generally speaking, we all perform activities in exchange for money or needs to be met. This is known as employment or work.
Have you ever heard someone tell you “I just work here for the money.” Or “I need this job for the money.”?
If our motive for employment is money, then that is where our focus lies. That’s really why we get out of bed. Either the job or the compensation becomes our god or gods. This is because the job is looked upon as our provider.
Where is God in that equation? What is God’s role in that picture?
Genesis 22: 14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
If Jesus is truly our Lord and Master isn’t He the Ultimate Provider? He is the One responsible for seeing that our needs are taken care of. That’s His role.
Matthew 6: 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
What has been dominating your thoughts?
Here’s another way He puts it:
John 6: 27 “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” (NASB)
This tends to change our focus, doesn’t it? Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting that you quit your job tomorrow. What I am saying is that you should work as if called for a higher purpose, which we are:
Colossians 3: 23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
If we live by these verses and have them be our driving force, as if to say “Jesus wants me out of bed by 7:00 so that I can work for Him.” then our focus is placed on Him, not the job, nor the money.
The job then becomes the work or the service that He’s given us to do, whether we enjoy it or not. Again, not to be misunderstood, I’m not saying never to leave your job either, as this message is simply a concept to change our heart and look at our daily work activities from a spiritual perspective. Whether you change jobs or not is between you and your Master, but rest assured that His desire is that we learn to trust in Him, and not our employer or the money they pay us.
Psalm 34: 10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.
When God is clearly in focus, money becomes a tool and simply a blessing (or curse), nothing more.
Looking back to the opening passage, “Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.” It’s no wonder that this is true. If our focus and motives are on anything but Jesus, who gives life, then we are robbed of that life.
To summarize these thoughts I think I can say “Don’t work for money but for God’s great purposes.” An eternal purpose and a healthy fear of the Lord is a more powerful driving force than money. After all, who wouldn’t want to report to the God of all creation every day? Doesn’t this perspective change our attitude about everything we do?
John 5: 17 But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.”
In a closing thought, ask yourself this, in this most famous of Psalms: “Can I recite this first verse personally?”
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
Why do you work and who do you work for?
“In Jesus name, I pray that I can work for you with a willing and cheerful heart, giving my life in service to you. O God, thank you for calling me to be involved with your family business. It is for you that I get out of bed. Please help me to carry out all the work you’ve put in my life and change my heart so that I can be more obedient to you. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, Lord”